West Midland’s fastest growing accountants respond to the autumn statement…
BY MATTHEW LEE, MANAGING PARTNER, BISHOP FLEMING
All the leaks and pre-briefings meant that there were few surprises, but there was both good and bad news from the Chancellor.
As a firm, we have recognised the need for a total reform of Business Rates, which are constraining and crippling many SMEs by being set at outdated property values and uniquely rising with inflation.
The Chancellor has today applied a sticking plaster by capping that inflationary increase to 2%, extending small businesses relief, introducing a 50% discount for new occupiers of empty shops, and offering a £1,000 discount to small retailers.
The introduction of monthly payments will help Treasury cash-flow and may also help some small businesses.
These are all welcome gestures, but Mr Osborne has failed to tackle the fundamental iniquities of this tax.
We shall, therefore, continue to campaign for a ‘root & branch’ reform of Business Rates, which starts with the Downing Street petition at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.
Meanwhile, his freezing of the fuel escalator and above inflation rail fares will be good news for business, as will his plan to scrap the ‘Job Tax’ (ie, employers’ NI contributions) for employees aged up to 21. It’s a pity, though, that this NI measure cannot take effect before 2015.
Indeed, it is significant that many of today’s ‘good news’ announcements will not take effect until 2015 – the election year!
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